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The Best Entertainment

Rachal Gall and friend at the Kent Farmer's Market

Rachal Gall and friend at the Kent Farmer’s Market

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Evolving Leadership

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Tuesday evening, the All Boards Chairs (ABC) committee finished their search for a candidate to replace Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain in 2017. After numerous non-meetings to discuss possibilities, they moved that the current Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel be recommended to the seven Boards of Education as the new Superintendent. Prior to that motion, they held a short but interesting meeting. They noted that the Freedom of Information complaint by Falls Village First Selectman Pat Mechare was decided unanimously in their favor by the full state Commission. They discussed the loss of Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) monies from the State of Connecticut, as well as the loss of transportation monies in some towns. And they engaged in the first serious statements about staff changes due to declining enrollment.

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Finalist for Superintendent of Schools

Region 1 Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel

Region 1 Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel

Chairman Claude Rolo, All Boards Chairs committee

The All Boards Chair (ABC) Committee, representing the boards of education of Canaan, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, Sharon, Cornwall and Region 1, is delighted to submit Dr. Pamela Kay Vogel as the finalist for the position of Superintendent of Schools for Region 1.

Dr. Vogel joined Region 1 last year, after an extensive and competitive search, to fill the role of assistant superintendent. In her 11 months here, she has already made great strides in advancing education in the schools that make up the region.

“Selecting Dr. Vogel to be our next Superintendent is a vital decision for our schools and our communities. Under her leadership, our administrators and teachers will further their efforts to provide our children with the 21st century skills that are essential in today’s learning environment,” said Claude Rolo, Chair of the ABC Committee.

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Tweedledum and Tweedledee

John Tenniel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

John Tenniel [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Governor Dannel P. Malloy and the Democratic controlled legislature have proposed an update to the original cuts to educational aid to our towns.  These cuts keep some of the Educational Cost Sharing (ECS) monies to each town while also reducing the transportation grants.  All monies go directly to each town as revenue and are not a part of the expense budgets. The latest data:

Town ECS Cuts Trans. Cuts
Canaan -$26,155 -$3,639
Cornwall -$61,882 -$252
Kent -$118,483 -$2,696
North Canaan -$59,668 -$32,320
Salisbury -$89,680 -$1,204
Sharon -$97,410 -$252

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Refresher

Business Manager Sam Herrick and Board Clerk Tina Bunce

Business Manager Sam Herrick and Board Clerk Tina Bunce

This week, the Region 1 Board of Education held a series of meetings, mostly for housekeeping purposes. First, Business Manager Sam Herrick again presented the plan for the renovation of the high school in a public hearing. The board then voted to take the question to referendum on Tuesday, June 7, 2016 from 8:00 a.m. until 8:00 p.m.. At that point the Board held the District Meeting from which they moved the 2016-2017 budget resolution to referendum the next day. (It passed.) Then the Board entered into their regular monthly meeting. Carl Gross, Director of Pupil Services, introduced several special education teachers who reviewed their specialized programs. The Board noted the changing needs of technology from the student perspective, with the corresponding need to constantly change curriculum. Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel reviewed the schedule for the professional development of teachers in Region 1. And the Board approved the newest revision of the policy for shared services, the 7000 series.

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Apathy and Rain

With less than 6% of the registered voters coming to the polls, the budget for Region 1 squeaked by with a margin of 15 votes.  The total was  291-276 votes.  Falls Village was very negative, 48-18, presumably due to the position of their First Selectman.  This was largely overcome by a very positive vote in Salisbury, 79-50. It is always amazing that so few people are concerned with such a large budget.  The apathy in Kent is particularly visible, maybe because half of the high school children go to private school.  Even two and a half years ago, the budget only drew less than 15% of the voters in passing 725-652.

Town Yes No Total
Canaan 18 48 66
Cornwall 45 33 78
Kent 38 36 74
North Canaan 60 60 120
Salisbury 79 50 129
Sharon 51 49 100
Total 291 276 567
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Referendum May 3, 2016

hvrhsbudget

A referendum vote of the electors and citizens qualified to vote in the towns of Canaan, Cornwall, Kent, North Canaan, Salisbury, and Sharon, Connecticut, will be held in said towns at the following places:

  • Town Hall of Canaan
  • Town Hall of Cornwall
  • Town Hall of Kent
  • Town Hall of North Canaan
  • Town Hall of Salisbury
  • Town Hall of Sharon

Pursuant to Section 10-56 of the Connecticut General Statutes, Revision of 1958, as amended, this referendum is for the purpose of voting on the Regional School District No. 1 budget for 2016-2017 school year.

The polls will be open from 12:00 noon to 8:00 p.m. on Tuesday, May 3, 2016. The question to be voted on, adopted by the Regional School District No. 1 Board of Education at a meeting held on Monday, May 2, 2016, will be placed on the ballot as the following question:

“Shall the combined net budget for Regional School District No. 1 (Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Pupil Services Center and Regional Schools Services Center) for fiscal year 2016-2017 in the amount of $15,494,235 be approved? Vote “Yes” or vote “No”

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Education Cuts

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Governor Dannel P. Malloy proposed a budget this week that would significantly impact education in Region 1 by eliminating the Education Cost Sharing (ECS) from the state in four of our towns.  The good news: those towns can no longer be penalized by the Minimum Budget Requirement.

Town Current Proposed
Canaan $209,153 $201,353
Cornwall $85,129 $0
Kent $167,052 $0
North Canaan $2,091,575 $2,010,975
Salisbury $148,652 $0
Sharon $139,261 $0
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2017 HVRHS Building Project Update

hvrhsbudget

At their Special Meeting on April 6, 2016, the Region One Board of Education voted to authorize up to $5.76 million for the proposed Renovation and Code project. This represents the total amount required to be authorized. The amount to be borrowed would be defrayed by a school construction grant estimated to be approximately $1.4 million. The district would borrow approximately $4.3 million over a 20-year repayment period. Additional details about the scope of work and cost of the project can be found on the district’s website.

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No News Is

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Last night, the Kent Board of Education met for its regular April meeting. The budget for 2016-2017 will be updated to reflect the actual use of funds, but the bottom line will not be changed. Assistant Superintendent Pam Vogel gave a detailed account of the changes in instruction to personalized learning. She also reviewed her efforts to increase the number of college credit courses at Housatonic. The Board approved the latest revision to the policy on shared services with the other districts in Region 1, known as the 7000 series. And Selectman Jeff Parkin introduced the subject of trauma response training at Kent Center School, but without Board comment.

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